How Does a Building Envelope Seal Out Moisture?
Make sure that windows have been properly installed
A building envelope consists of air barriers, capillary breaks and vapor barriers designed to keep exterior moisture out of a structure. This layer is crucial for preventing interior water damage and mold growth. Other parts of a structure such as doors, windows, and roofing should also be properly installed and maintained to avoid condensation and leaks. Learn more about how an envelope layer makes a structure impervious to rain damage.
A Structural Envelope
The structural envelope is designed to seal moisture out of a building from the foundation to the roof. Barriers and capillaries work together to prevent several issues:
- Residual moisture
A functional envelope can reduce the risk of rain damage and other water damage. In turn, the envelope helps to prevent the growth of black mold and other fungi.
Door and Window Seals
It is important to make sure that exterior doors and windows have been properly installed. An inspection should include all of the following components:
Doors must not blow open during storms with high winds. Storm shutters may be useful if a building is regularly exposed to high wind speeds or severe storm conditions.
Other Preventative Measures
The envelope of a building works together with doors, windows and roofing to keep out precipitation and moisture. Keeping the drainage system clear, trimming back trees and grading landscaping to direct water away from the foundation can prevent damage to the envelope and reduce the risk of flooding.
A property owner or manager should arrange for periodic building envelope inspections. If any signs of rain damage are apparent inside of a structure located in South Portland,ME, it may be necessary to retrofit the envelope or replace doors, windows or roofing materials. A mitigation and restoration company can fix interior damage caused by moisture, ranging from saturated or stained building materials to black mold.
Buying in a Flood Zone: What To Do
Make sure to find the FEMA map for your area to know exactly what kind of risk you are dealing with.
Are you planning to buy a home in the Prouts Neck, ME, area that falls within a flood zone? There are a few things you should do to prepare so you can better protect your finances and potentially your future property. Here are four steps to take to better inform yourself about flood zones and figure out if you really want to live in a high-risk area.
1. Estimate flood insurance costs. When you live at a location that has a high risk of flooding, it is very common for flood insurance to be required - sometimes by the federal government. Get a few quotes before you buy the home, and make sure to ask for any discounts that you may be eligible for. You will also want to ensure that federal coverage is not required.
2. Learn the home’s exact zone. Some areas of a flood zone are considered lower risk than others. Make sure to find the FEMA map for your area to know exactly what kind of risk you are dealing with. Additionally, your home may need to be re-categorized if it was mapped out a long time ago.
3. Get an elevation certificate. It is possible that an elevation certificate will be required if you purchase a home within a high-risk zone. Such a certificate can also help you further gauge the probability of a bad flood at or near your house.
4. Know your local remediation service. If you should suffer from a damaging flood, you will want professional help to have the best chance of restoring your property. Find out what your most trustworthy local storm damage service is so you have reliable cleanup aid in the event of a disaster.
If you are getting discouraged by the prospect of living in a high-risk area, remember that even homes outside of a flood zone can suffer from floods. After following the steps above, you will be better able to understand what you are getting into before making the serious commitment of home ownership.
Preparing Your Warehouse For the Spring Thaw
Springtime is not when property owners typically worry about a winter storm, but it should be. Weather in the spring is chaotic, and it goes quickly from warm to cold. While the worry over heavy snowfalls may dwindle, the concern over frozen pipes and water damage increase because of the thaw caused by these drastic temperature fluctuations.
1. Check For Leaks and Cracks
Most storm damage comes as a result of leaks and cracks in the structure of the building. Therefore, to prevent most issues related to the spring thaw, you can inspect your facility. Look along the foundation, windows, doors, the basement and the attic. Find any areas that are damp or show signs of moisture and seal them.
2. Replace Weather Stripping
Also, if there is significant snow buildup from the last winter storm, then it may be beneficial to check the weather stripping around windows and doors. If the stripping is old or missing, then during the thaw your property will likely flood.
3. Keep Outdoor Plumbing Off
Though it is tempting to turn on your exterior plumbing at the first sign of spring, fundamental disaster restoration and preparation guidelines suggest that it is better to wait until after the initial thaw, which is sometime between March and the beginning of April. If you turn your sprinklers on too early, you risk the lines freezing and possibly bursting.
4. Call For an Inspection
Before turning on any exterior fixtures, it is wise to contact a plumbing specialist in the Pine Point, ME, area and request an inspection. Spring inspections ensure that there is no significant damage to your plumbing and that you can safely use it without risking costly repairs.
True, a winter storm happens in the winter and often during frigid temperatures, but the spring may be more volatile in terms of temperature fluctuations. Therefore, to protect your system and your warehouse, check for leaks, replace weather stripping, and call for inspections before returning to regular use.
The Timeline for Preventing Mold
Mold can grow very quickly, get help from SERVPRO.
When a pipe bursts in your building in Eight Corners, ME, fixing the pipe and getting everything dry are probably among your top priorities. One of the reasons it’s so crucial to do these things quickly is that mold can start to form within as little as 24 hours of the first signs of water damage. Here are some quick steps to take to make sure you beat the countdown to a mold problem.
The less water you have pouring into your building, the faster it will ultimately be to clean up. The moment you notice a leak, complete this checklist:
- Turn off water main
- Secure broken pipe or supply line to keep residual water inside
- Pump standing water into safe area
Limiting the amount of water present can significantly reduce the water damage, thereby helping to prevent the formation of mold patches.
A large amount of water spilling into your building is sure to create a spike in the humidity levels in the air. This can contribute to mold growth. Therefore, it’s a good idea to increase air flow temporary to help dry things out a little. If opening windows is not an option, try using dehumidifiers or industrial fans to keep humidity under 50%.
Call the Professionals
The most effective mold prevention strategy is fast remediation. Call water mitigation experts as soon as you know you need cleanup. That way, they can get to your building, assess the problem, remove the materials that can’t be saved and restore the rest. Don’t wait to hear from your insurance company before you start the repair process. As long as you document everything well, your provider will likely be glad you took the initiative to start remediation quickly.
Mold can start to grow where there is excess water within a day. To prevent secondary damage such as fungus growth, address water damage as quickly as possible.
Insurance Companies and Preferred Vendors
SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage.
In the restoration industry, there are many businesses that claim to be restoration experts. That is why choosing the right vendor for your insured client is just not as easy as it appears. Whether your client needs help after a flood, fire, hurricane or winter storm, there are numerous listings in Scarborough, ME, professing their expertise. To alleviate the problem of blind choice, a knowledgeable insurance agent has a list of preferred vendors for almost any disaster scenario he or she may run into. To make sure your vendor is qualified, make sure the company meets these three qualifications.
You want your preferred vendor to possess the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge to handle an emergency and still deal thoughtfully with your client. Knowing how emergency restoration and remediation companies work is also important. When the technicians are certified by an IICRC training program, you can be assured they have the skills to complete the job with the most modern equipment available, and in a timely manner.
Using a specially designed computer program, SERVPRO technicians can keep track as they complete their repairs, remediation and restoration. The program also allows the client, contractor and your home office access to the claim, so every individual has the most up-to-date information. The ReportER program can help you as an insurance agent because it provides all the information you need on each claim, and that why insurance companies prefer to keep SERVPRO on their preferred vendor program list.
At the heart of any service industry is the service technician. The way your insured clients are handled can be important to your continuing business relationship, so when you hire a company to help your clients you want to be able to trust the technician’s ethics, liability, and background.
As an insurance agent, you need a list of preferred vendors. When a disaster strikes one of your insured, you know you can trust the companies on your list to clean and restore the property as quickly as possible.
5 Water Cleanup Tips To Use After a Broken Pipe Flood
Broke pipes can cause water damage to your residency
Water Cleanup After a Broken Pipe Flood
Not all floods come in large waves that add a foot of water onto the floor of your home. In fact, most homeowners’ complaints to insurance companies are about broken pipes doing water damage in their residence. To help you deal with the cleanup after water spills into your home in South Portland, ME, here are five tips.
1. Before stepping into the water, make sure the electricity breaker and gas meter are turned off. This can prevent severe damage to you and your items.
2. Locate the source of the leak. If you can, stop the leak by closing the nearby valve, otherwise, turn the main water line off. This sometimes requires a specialty tool, so notify the water company if needed.
3. Call in a water damage restoration and remediation company for help in removing the r water and assessing the situation. They are experts in knowing what to look for and where to find hidden damage.
4. If the leak was inside a wall, ceiling or floor, prepare yourself for a tear-out. This means the experts may have to remove a portion of the area surrounding the leak in order to make sure the structure is safe in the future. Water can not only harm the construction of your home, but it can also invite mold growth.
5. Have the water restoration team document their efforts for the insurance company. If they are unable, take your own photos of the area and all articles removed from the area. If you are using video, verbally note the condition of the items and when you purchased them.
These are only five of the many steps you can take to help mitigate the water damage after a flood of any type in your home. Water cleanup doesn’t have to be debilitating or cause you panic. Let the experts help you rectify the situation with their knowledge and expertise.
How To Anticipate How Much Mold Remediation Will Cost
If you find mold, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO of South Portland.
Discovering that you need professional mold remediation in your home is not a welcome revelation. In addition to giving off an unpleasant odor and diminishing your home's air quality, a mold problem can also be expensive to fix. There are several factors that affect how much mold removal will cost.
Type of Testing Required
Sometimes, you can actually see mold growth. If this is the case, extensive testing may not be necessary. If you suspect there is a problem but can't identify it, however, the mold inspector may have to employ several tactics to assess the problem:
- Opening walls
- Removing tiles
- Lifting carpet
- Taking air samples
Costs for inspections can vary widely up to several hundred dollars. Some inspectors charge separately for each sample taken, which is an important thing to know from the start so you can figure it into your overall costs.
Extent of the Damage
The biggest determining factor in the cost of mold removal is the extent of the damage. A small patch of mold on one wall is going to be much less expensive to remedy than a mold problem in your air ducts that has spread throughout your home. Your cost could be as little as $500 or as much as $30,000 or more. The price of each job depends on how hard it is to get to the mold and how pervasive the problem is.
Sometimes, your insurance covers black mold removal. If the growth is secondary damage resulting from another problem covered by your policy, it may be covered as well, helping you avoid some of the out-of-pocket costs. If, on the other hand, the problem results from flooding, an ongoing maintenance issue or neglect, you probably will have to cover the cost yourself.
Inspection, extent of the damage and your insurance coverage all play a role in how much your mold removal in South Portland, ME, will ultimately cost. Knowing how much the total bill will be at the beginning of the process can help you plan accordingly.
Three Reasons To Choose SERVPRO in an Emergency
SERVPRO is a locally owned franchise
SERVPRO is A Great Choice!
No matter what the emergency is, SERVPRO is a great choice. They show up Faster to Any Size Disaster and provide the help your client needs to get their South Portland,ME , home back in order. Here are a few reasons to choose them when you need repairs done quickly.
1. They Provide Help in a Timely Manner
There are many situations in which your clients may experience damage to their home. Whether the building has been affected by a fire, a burst pipe or a natural disaster, addressing the situation as soon as possible is important. Not only will SERVPRO take steps to prevent any further damage, but they can also provide a professional assessment to assist your client in filing their insurance claim. Once the home has been inspected, they can get repairs done in a timely and cost-effective way.
2. They Are Highly Trained Professionals
When your client needs repairs, you want to use a company that does their job right. Having repairs done incorrectly will be more costly in the long run. As well as being Faster to Any Size Disaster, SERVPRO also uses trained professionals who have the skill and experience to get any damaged home back to its previous state as soon as possible. With the necessary equipment, they will have your client’s home looking great again in no time.
3. They Are Locally Owned
Another reason to use SERVPRO is that they are a locally owned franchise. As such, they take pride in their communities and work hard to serve them. Because they have over 1,700 franchises across the country, it is easy for them to respond quickly during an emergency.
When you are in need of a professional restoration service, call on the one that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. No matter what kind of damage has occurred, they will get the job done right and done fast.
What to Do When Mold Damage Occurs
Mold Damage in a Downtown South Portland home.
Most people don’t understand the science of mold damage. In fact, the worst thing any home or business owner can do after finding mold in the home or commercial mold damage is attempt the mold removal process on their own. There are monetary risks involved with DIY mold removal or simply ignoring the problem by assuming it doesn’t look like black mold so it must not be a problem.
The Benefits of Professional Mold Removal, Remediation, and Mitigation
A professional restoration company has all the right equipment. Not all mold growth is visible, and not all mold damage is simple. What might appear to be nothing more than little mildew, dry rot, or even fungus might be a small sign of the much bigger issue of mold growth behind walls. Is there a smelly odor? Does deodorization do nothing but mask the unpleasant smelly odor for a short time? Are multiple methods of deodorization failing to handle the smelly odor?
If any of these questions has a yes answer, mold growth behind the walls might be a the problem. Whether it’s black mold or not, no one should attempt to handle or remove commercial mold damage or mold in the home without the help of a restoration company specializing in mitigation and remediation services.
The benefits of using a professional restoration company include finding the source of mold growth and correctly identifying potential black mold. Mold grows fast, and using the right equipment prevents future growth. It also identifies black mold, and it can handle that smelly odor with professional deodorization guaranteed to make the home or office smell better in no time. Mitigation and remediation are helpful to anyone who has mold growth at home or work.
What to Do When Mold Damage Occurs
Recognizing the Signs of Mold in the Home and/or Commercial Mold Damage
Knowing the signs is key. If there is mold growth behind walls, it’s the smelly odor that might give it away. However, dry rot, mildew, and any fungus could indicate mold in the home or commercial mold damage. Mold is a fungus, and it spreads fast. There might be a little mold growth behind walls, but it might have started because of a leak or improperly dried flood damage cleanup and spread throughout the walls in a matter of days.
Mildew, dry rot, and fungus are all signs mold is an issue in a home or office. Mildew grows in the same conditions as mold. Dry rot requires ample moisture to form, and both mean anyone might have far more mold damage than they previously imagined.
Don’t DIY Mold Removal
There are a many reasons no one should ever attempt to remove mold without a restoration company present to help with mitigation and remediation.
When people attempt to remove mold on their own, they risk sending mold spores into the air so they can spread more quickly. It’s best to let the pros handle this with their equipment. What people should do to help is turn off the HVAC system so mold spores in the air aren’t able to travel throughout the ductwork into other rooms and cause bigger mold problems.
If there is a flood or leak, it’s imperative anyone with mold in the home or commercial mold damage has the water removed and everything dried immediately. Removal of water as soon as possible can minimize the risk of mold growth or stop it altogether. Allow the pros to help with mold damage using equipment that finds it at the root and helps with the deodorization process to make home or work safer and more appealing.
3 Things to Know About Flood Insurance
Ask your insurance agent if you are covered.
Flood Insurance Coverage
In the event your Scarborough,ME, business has experienced flooding then you may be wondering what exactly may be included in your flood insurance policy. Fortunately, while insurance policies may vary, many contain similar coverage.
1. What May Be Covered
Most commercial insurance policies will cover the cost of damages to your building and any contents in the event of a flood. In some cases, they may even recommend a water damage restoration service to conduct the cleanup and repairs. These services may also be able to restore electronics or any documentation that may have been damaged as well.
2. What May Not Be Covered
In many cases flood insurance will not cover business property located outside the building. This can include company vehicles or any landscaping. Most insurance policies also do not cover flooding caused by neglect. This means that it is the businesses responsibility to conduct any repairs as soon as a problem is found. Losses to the business caused by having to shut down for repairs may also not be covered.
3. How Risk Factor Is Determined
Many parts of your insurance policy may be impacted by your flooding risk. Factors that could play into your flood risk include the location of your business, and average weather type for your area. if the business is built in a flood zone or you experience heavy rains regularly, you may want to purchase extra coverage for anything not included under your policy.
Knowing what's contained in your flood insurance policy is the responsibility of the policyholder. However, many flood policies contain similar insurance coverage. These packages may include situations such a storm damages or broken pipes. It may not include property outside the building, or flooding caused by acts of neglect. To know what exactly is in your policy it is recommended that you talk to your insurance agent.